A Plea From Carol Hopkins

[Note: Friends of Justice is a personal blog. I speak only for myself.]

When I first got into the justice-advocacy business, one of the first people I encountered was Carol Hopkins. Recently, Carol sent me the following email and asked me to post it to this blog:

Dear Friends of Justice,

As most of you know I retired 10 years ago from the “injustice business.” I have only come out of seclusion a few times on very special cases. Fortunately, in each of those cases the unjustly accused and convicted had a quick release. This time I am writing about a case that desperately needs your help. It is in the process of reversal; the court has “found good cause to reverse” Dr. Dubria’s donviction. The case is in the process of being briefed prior to ordering an evidentiary hearing. I have absolutely NO doubt the case will be overturned but time is of the essence.

Dr. Sam Dubria’s mother and father are in their late 80’s. Lourdes Dubria has recently undergone chemotherapy for breast cancer. His father, Pat Dubria, has been nearly blinded by a stroke several months ago. Despite their age and fraility, they are still working full-time to pay the attorneys working for their son’s freedom. Dr. Sam needs to come home and be with these wonderful people in the last days of their lives.

While Mr. and Mrs. Dubria have been working in what should have been the retired years they enjoyed their grandchildren, the San Diego District Attorney’s office has hidden, and perhaps destroyed, files, delayed and continued at every opportunity. The original DA on the case is now a sitting Superior Court judge. He has filed a declaration claiming t he provided Brady evidence to the defense at the time of trial that was, in fact, never provided, never bate-stamped, and not in the district attorney’s own case file. There is no element of this case that is not tainted. It is only attorneys Tracy and Thor Emblem’s persistence, perseverance, and obsessive attention to science and detail that has resulted in the current order.

For full details on this case, please go to http://www.free-drsamdubria.com/.

There is a petition to sign on the website. Please take the time to do so. It would be helpful if you forwarded the information on to those in your address book who you think would be interested and take the time to sign.

If you would like to be kept informed about this case, please write back and I will put you on the Sam Dubria information board.

If you would like to help in some way, please let me know. We particularly need help in the San Diego area reaching out to the media, clubs and organizations to inform them about the case. It is my hope that District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis will drop the case and let Dr. Sam go free before, or soon after, the July 16 hearing but we need to be prepared to apply political pressure if she does not. Continuing to hold an innocent man is a political decision; we will need a political solution.

A thumbnail sketch of the case follows.

Seventeen years ago, a young Filipino-American, Dr., Sam Dubria, was convicted of murder with special enhancements for rape. He was sentenced to life without parole.

The facts of the case are that Dr. Dubria and his long time friend, only recently a romantic friend, Jennifer Klapper were vacationing at a hotel in Carlsbad. They had spent several nights before with the Dubria family in Glendale. Dr. Dubria had just finished his residency in gerentology and this was a celebratory trip.

Jennifer had a long medical history of health problems with multiple trips to the hospital for arhythmia, severe headaches, nausea, dizziness. She was approximately 25% below recommended body weight at the time of her death. Those records were received by the Deputy District Attorney during the trial but never provided to the defense. Instead, Deputy DA Casserly argued in closing that Jennifer was a perfectly healthy young woman knowing that she had this history. These medical records were only discovered within the past two years by Tracy Emblem, the same appellate attorney who did the Ken Marsh case.

The Deputy DA’s theory of the case was that Dr. Dubria chloroformed Jennifer, raped her, she died and he then tried to cover it up. There is no evidence for any of the above. There is evidence that there could have been some contamination in the Medical Examiner’s lab. There is also evidence that the Medical Examiner changed her testimony to fit the DA’s theory of the crime. At the time of autopsy she explained the abrasions on Jennifer’s face as the usual result of paramedic intervention. At trial she testified that the abrasions were as a result of her attempts to ward off a rape.

There is much more on the website. This is a far story than any CSI could imagine.

Carol Hopkins